Day By Day

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Darfur Update -- the EU acts, sorta

ABC News reports:

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia May 26, 2005 — The United States pledged an additional $50 million to fund the African Union peacekeeping operation in Sudan's western Darfur region during a conference of international donors on Thursday.

The State Department's senior representative on Sudan, Charles Snyder, said the funding came in addition to $95 million already pledged to help end what he called "acts of genocide" in the ongoing conflict.

Guys, I'm sorry to tell you, but this is not (repeat NOT!) an adequate response to the ongoing horror in Darfur.

At least a government spokesman actually used the "G-word" -- Genocide.

There had been some hope that African Union troops could be used as peacekeepers, but that hasn't worked out.

The AU has 2,270 troops in western Sudan attempting to stop fighting between rebels and Arab militias, but has plans to increase that number to more than 12,300. The operation, meanwhile, has been bogged down by logistical problems and a lack of air support in the region, which is the size of France....
So the basic problem is one of coordination and logistical support..., this sounds like a job for..., ta da..., the EU [at least it would give them something to do besides carp at the US]

At a meeting in Brussels Monday, EU nations offered air and ground transportation and help with command planning, surveillance and housing for the AU's Darfur peacekeepers. The EU will not send peacekeeping troops and will leave overall command of the operation to the African Union.
That sounds like something they can handle. They think so too.

The North Atlantic Council of alliance ambassadors said they approved the "initial military options" for possible NATO support for the peacekeeping mission and said their efforts would center on military transport, training and planning.

Of course, everything so far is in the planning stage, getting authorizations for "possible" support operations, etc. And while the interminable meetings go on..., and on..., and on, people are dying.

Arab militia known as Janjaweed committed wide-scale abuses against ethnic Africans. At least 180,000 people have died many from hunger and disease and about 2 million others have fled their homes.

Read the story here.

For a heart-rending view of the atrocities from the viewpoint of the victims see my earlier posts here, and here.

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